Richard III Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
KING RICHARD III Ay, what's o'clock?BUCKINGHAM I am thus bold to put your grace in mindOf what you promised me.KING RICHARD III Well, but what's o'clock?BUCKINGHAM Upon the stroke of ten.KING RICHARD III Well, let it strike.BUCKINGHAM Why let it strike?KING RICHARD III Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the strokeBetwixt thy begging and my meditation.I am not in the giving vein to-day.BUCKINGHAM Why, then resolve me whether you will or no.KING RICHARD III Tut, tut,Thou troublest me; am not in the vein. (4.2.24)
After Buckingham asks Richard when he's going to give him the earldom of Hereford, Richard twice asks Buckingham what time it is ("what's o'clock?"). What's that all about? Well, as we've seen, Richard is obsessed with the passage of time. He's also trying to stall by postponing the moment when he has to make good on his promise to award Buckingham the Earldom. (He never does, by the way.) In the lines that follow, Richard also suggests that Buckingham begs him for the earldom "like clockwork." Translation: Richard is calling Buckingham a nag.
KING RICHARD III What is't o'clock?CATESBY It's supper-time, my lord;It's nine o'clock.KING RICHARD III I will not sup to-night.Give me some ink and paper. (5.5.1)
Once again, Richard is asking for the time. Before it seemed like Richard was racing through the play, trying to get his hands on the crown. Now, on the eve of the battle, he seems to be running out of time, as he can't even take a dinner break.
RICHMONDI'll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap,Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow,When I should mount with wings of victory:Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen. (5.5.2)
The night before heading into battle, Richmond decides to take a nap, because he's got a big day ahead of him. (Pretty sensible, don't you think?) Richard, on the other hand, tries to stay up all night plotting so he can get the drop on Richmond. This is a big mistake – Richard's hurry up and grab the crown strategy seems to finally be catching up to him. The human body needs sleep so it can rest and repair itself, but Richard tries to circumvent this natural cycle.